Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Kitchen of the Maasdam

We had an opportunity to take a tour of the Maasdam's kitchen. I used to be a cook for my fraternity. I had 25 guys to feed and I had to get it right. That isn’t anything compared what these folks go through. They have 1300 people to keep happy.

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The Ice Cream Chef.

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One of the many cooking stations. Mmmmm, smells good!

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A medieval torture chamber?

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No! It’s the man that does the ice sculptures!

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Oh, yeah, it’s all good.

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I’ll be calling down for some of this!

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The dough boys!

IMG_0080The Maasdam’s food was excellent. We had many a delightful dinners. The real test is feeding seafood to a Gloucesterman and beef to a Coloradan. Yup, they passed with flying colors. I’d go back!

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Here is the ice sculpture that was being carved.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Confederation Bridge

©2010 ShootingMyUniverse We were a little short-changed on our stay in Charlottetown, PEI.  You see, the tide was rising and we had to get the Maasdam under the Confederation Bridge. We needed a six meter clearance between the bridge and the stacks in order to pass under the bridge. The Confederation Bridge joins the eastern Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. The 8 mile long bridge is the longest in the world crossing ice-covered water. The pilings of the bridge are designed so when ice pushes against it, the ice is thrust upwards and broken relieving the stress.

©2010 ShootingMyUniverse©2010 ShootingMyUniverse©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

I opted for the bow to take this shot. Once we were through the bridge, our pilot left us and returned back to Charlottetown.  We than had a long 40 hour sale to Quebec City.

©2010 ShootingMyUniverse©2010 ShootingMyUniverse©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

So we sat out on our veranda and shared a glass of wine while the world floated by. When we returned, we found a new friend waiting for us.

 

Visit Watery Wednesday

Monday, June 28, 2010

Eine kleine Nachtpost

A little bit of nightposting before I tuck in tonight. Here is a Common Pondhawk I shot last week.©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

Navigating in Charlottetown Harbor

©2010 ShootingMyUniverse ©2010 ShootingMyUniverse Charlottetown PEI has a very beautiful harbor and it is a deep water port, meaning that it can accommodate big shops. Remember back in Halifax, I said I would tell you about range towers?  I have a couple of examples here showing what they area and how they are used.

In the photo to the left are range towers.  You see that there are two.  The idea is that if you are navigating a ship through a harbor, you would like up the two lights on the towers. That puts you on the course for the direction that you are navigating. Bellow is a lighthouse. ©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

This is a lighthouse at the entrance of the harbor. As I posted yesterday, it was a beautiful day in Charlottetown. It was such a beautiful city with lots to see and people to meet. Unfortunately, we had to leave a couple of hours early so that we could get under the Confederation Bridge before the tide was too high. But that is another story for tomorrow.  ©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Viva San Pietro!

Viva San Pietro! The closing precession of Saint Peter ends the fiesta.  May he watch over our fishing fleet for another year.

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Charlottetown, PEI

©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

Our next port of call was Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.  Once again, we arrive early in the morning and had this view to admire. We decided not to partake in the guided tours and just go out and walk about on our own.

Now a word of advice.  If you decide to do as we did, be prepared, the scenery is beautiful and the people of Charlottetown are very friendly.  I say this because you can very easily find yourself chatting for hours.©2010 ShootingMyUniverse ©2010 ShootingMyUniverse©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

A case in point, I spied this fire truck outside of the fire house and after I stopped salivating, we struck up a conversation with one of the firemen.  After about 20 minutes, we started walking up the street and we got into a conversation with someone else who gave us some information about some must see spots, one was the historic city hall.  Once in the city hall, we began talking with the people working there and learned about the history of the city hall and got an impromptu tour.

©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

©2010 ShootingMyUniverse©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

When we got back onto the boat, we calculated that we walked about five miles around town. There was something to discover around every corner.  If you have heard of Charlottetown or Prince Edward Island, it may be because that it is Anne of Green Gables territory.  For us, it was an opportunity to meet some interesting people and see a fabulous town.  Prior to the last boarding call, we sat down and had a beer, and had one of the first opportunities to photograph the Maasdam, our cruise ship.

©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

Scenic Sunday

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Bird Islands Part II

Part II of our trip to The Bird Islands off Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  In Part I, I listed out all the birds we saw on the trip. Here we have a Razorbill flying into its nest site on a cliff.DSC_0258

And here we have a Black-legged Kittiwake bringing in nesting material to keep its nest anchored to the side of the cliff.

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A Black Guillemot flies out to sea to find some food.  Note those sexy red legs!  We see this bird down in Gloucester during the winter in its off season plumage.

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Also in Part I, I mentioned that although the weather couldn’t have been better, there was just one problem. The star of the show was just a little scarce.  You see, Puffins do not like hot weather.  These little butterballs like it cool, and on a hot, sunny day, they will stay deep in their borrows or will go out to sea. We did see a few. DSC_0225 DSC_0250

For birders, the Great Cormorants, Black Guillemots and Razorbills would be a thrill and the Puffins would be icing on the cake.  Puffins have such an endearing quality that they are admired by people from all walks of life.  That makes them good ambassadors for wildlife.  I wish I had some better shots, but you know what?  If I got all the shots I needed on this trip, I would never have to make another!

“Hey Becky, we gotta go back!”

So where next?  Charlottetown, PEI? How about a sail down the St. Lawrence River to Quebec City!  OoooOOOooO, you will not want to miss that.  And be sure not to miss this morning post of yesterday’s Greasy Pole Competition!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Greasy Pole

There was lots of activity in the back yard. Saint Peter’s Fiesta is in full swing with the Greasy Pole competition and the women’s seine boat races. The weather was perfect, nice light, high 70s and a clear blue sky.DSC_0023

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Here my presentation of the Greasy Pole. There is a special guest appearance from The Travel Channel!

Forgotten Photo Friday, A gentle reminder.

©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

Just in case you were thinking that it is too hot out there…

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bird Islands Boat Tour

We had almost perfect weather in Sydney.  70F, winds about 5 knots, a nice blue sky.  So what was the problem?

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Just off the shore of Big Bras D’Or, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia are two tiny islands know as Bird Islands, and for a good reason. There are several species of pelagic birds that nest on them.  Pelagic birds are birds that are found out in the ocean.  All birds need to nest somewhere and the Bird Islands a nesting platform for Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Black Guillemots, Great Black-Backed and Herring Gulls, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Great and Double-crested Cormorants and Bald Eagles.  Also on these islands are Grey Seals.

This was a big part of the trip for me, and because I’m a bit of a bird-nerd, Becky booked this excursion. It was billed as a Puffin Tour but that is like going to a candy shop just to by a Hershey Bar.

Two species of cormorants nest on the Bird Islands.

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The Black-legged Kittiwake colony was doing well. They are not your typical dumpster gull, the feed exclusively at sea. They build their nests on the cliffs, chattering their kittiwake calls.

©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

An exciting part of the islands are the population of Razorbills.©2010 ShootingMyUniverse©2010 ShootingMyUniverse ©2010 ShootingMyUniverse

So as you can see, there is a great deal of life on the Bird Islands. I’ve still got some more to show.  Good birds, good weather, calm winds, what was the catch? Stay tuned.

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